Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grape Leaf Pickles

Since grape leaves are supposed to be picked in early summer and I am usually canning pickles later in the summer, I suppose one would have to use blanched, frozen leaves in pickles.

Since I am not eating these grape leaves, but using them for their firming properties, I will just pick the bigger, tougher leaves of late summer.

This recipe uses a 4 gallon crock to ferment the pickles.

10-20 grape leaves
10-12 dill heads
1 oz. pickling spices
20 lb. pickling cucumbers
1 lb. pickling salt
2 cups white vinegar, 5 percent acidity
2 gallons water

Scald a 4 gallon crock. Line bottom with washed grape leaves, half the dill, and 1/2 pickling spices. Fill with washed cukes, remove blossom end. Fill to within 3-inch of top and add rest of dill and spice, cover with grape leaves.

Make a brine of the salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil and cool. Pour over cukes. Cover/weight down with a plate and clean rock or canning jar filled with water and sealed to hold down contents below brine.

Remove scum daily. Keep at 70-80 degrees. Fermentation should take 10-14 days.

When cured, make fresh brine, bring to a boil, and cool. Pack cukes into sterilized jars, brine over and seal. Store in fridge.

If cukes are fully cured, you may use hot brine and water bath for 15 minutes.

Linda Lou, WA 8-13-2001

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